Tina Villis


I am still amazed at the number of property owners who do not allow pets in their rentals and it is a challenge for property managers to convince them otherwise.

No Pets!
No Pets, Smoking, or Rolling Skating Allowed

It is interesting that many landlords and managing agents have a blanket rule, a ‘no pets policy’. Being a pet friendly landlord reveals many more prospective tenants and the benefits can significantly outweigh the negatives. Property owners, please listen to the pet owners’ plight!

Given that the demand for pet friendly rentals has outstripped supply, should landlords be enticed to rethinking the ‘no pets’ policy? Most landlords fear expensive property damage by cats and dogs such as scratches on polished floors, but so can stiletto heels or footy boots. A well-managed pet rental can consistently have positive economic outcomes.

Allowing tenants to keep pets can be a positive experience for everyone involved.

  • Renters with pets sign longer leases and are less likely to move as it is may be disruptive to the animal. This means landlords can reduce advertising and vacancy costs.
  • It is uncommon for pets to damage a property and the cost of pet damage is reportedly less than tenants with children.
  • Research suggests that responsible pet owners can make excellent tenants, abiding by house rules and enjoying better mental and physical well-being.
  • Would-be tenants with pets are often willing to pay a higher weekly rent for the privilege of a having their pet come and live with them.
  • For similar reasons, pet-friendly properties tend to rent more readily, and pet-owning tenants move in as soon as they find a suitable property.

In researching the topic on ‘pet friendly’ I was surprised to see that there are websites in the holiday accommodation space such as Holiday Paws which are specifically designed for pet friendly holiday makers. This is indeed a contrast to the market for pet friendly long term rentals… and obviously a market segment only available to pet friendly properties!

Did you know that there are now pet-friendly businesses creeping into the market in Australia? Boarding kennels have always been a given, we now have pet resorts and even a pet hotel offering climate-controlled suites, day care, grooming and training for dogs and cats. There are dog and cat cafes popping up in cities around Australia with menus for dogs and cats. I had an experience with a ‘cat café’ in Adelaide, the MeowMe Cat Café about twelve months ago

A Taste of MeowMe Café

when I adopted a 6 week old kitten named Gracie.  I walked into the café around 7pm, had a coffee and ate an unusual green layered dessert. Once you have had a refreshment you are then allowed to join the ‘kitten party’ behind an enclosed glass enclosure – only 7 kitten searching bodies are allowed through the door at one time. Not sure how you choose one tiny fluffy bundle over another, however you need to fall in love with one and put your name on it! Adopters need to fill in an application form, you are then vetted as the perfect owner or not before being given the friendly acceptance call several days later.

The point of this story is that one day I myself may be looking for a rental property and I hope by then that property owners have come to the realisation that owners with pets make excellent tenants. I am an excellent tenant! It would be shame to be excluded from consideration, and the thought of having to give away a precious family pet is most distressing. I would be interested in communicating with anyone who has had to give up a pet to secure a lease as a tenant; leave a comment below or feel free to get in touch.

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